7 Retail Management Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

Retail management roles seek candidates that have great experience and a range of relevant skills. Interview questions for a management role in retail can be difficult to answer if you wish to stand out from other candidates, but if you are properly prepared then you can deliver answers to challenging questions that are sure to impress.

If you have a retail management interview coming up then it is extremely important to have answers prepared for the most commonly asked questions, which will not only give you a better chance at securing the role, but show how organised and efficient you are. Below are the most frequently asked interview questions for retail management roles and how to answer them!

Tell Us About Yourself

“Tell Us About Yourself” is an extremely common first question to ask in an interview, and helps the interviewers to find out more about you and your background. The answer to this question should be kept professional and give the company more/different information than you have included on your CV.

A great way to answer this question is to talk about the past, present, and then the future. When talking about the past, you should state your biggest achievements that led you to where you are now and which relevant skills for the role were developed. For example, you could talk about a qualification that you previously received and which skills were developed from gaining this qualification. Make sure you know which skills in particular the role requires, so that you can link anything you talk about back to the role. Next, talk about the present and why you are applying for the job. When talking about the future, you should make sure you include your hope to be working for the company in retail management. Your answer should be short and relevant, you do not want to bore the interviewers!

Why Do You Want to Work for Us?

This question is one that will allow you to truly impress the interviewers for the retail management role. The key to answering this question well is with research. You must research as much as you can about the company and industry. You should also research the parent company if there is one. The key facts to find out about the company you are applying for a job with are; what exactly they sell, who their target audience is, and what their aim/mission statement is. All of this information can usually be found online on their website or social media.

Use the company’s information to form a great answer. For example, the company may state that their mission is to provide affordable and stylish home décor to families around the country, so your answer could include that you feel stylish furniture at an affordable price allows many people to make their house more of a home, and allows them to rejuvenate properly in their own space. You should also explain why this makes you a great applicant for the job, for example, you may have previously worked in home décor and know how much of a difference it can make to customers and their homes. Relate every answer back the job description to ensure you show an understanding of why you would make a great retail manager.

Tell Us About a Time You Dealt with a Difficult Customer

This is a question that is extremely likely to come up within the retail industry. Customers are central to everything within retail, and it is extremely important to keep customers happy so that they continue shopping with the retailer and only share good things to others about the brand. The best way to form an answer for a question regarding a situation is to use the STAR technique. Start by explaining the situation; why was the customer unhappy? You should then talk about the task that you hoped would resolve the situation. Thirdly, which action did you take to help resolve the situation? Finally, explain the end result to the interviewers and why it was a positive one. This answer should show the perfect model of how to correctly deal with an angry customer, such as listening carefully and allowing the customer to speak, and apologizing to the customer about the inconvenience they may have experienced. A retail manager should do everything they possibly can to resolve an issue and keep the customer happy.

What Are Your Strengths?

Talking about your strengths is a chance to prove that you really know what the job entails and why you are the best person for it. Explain strengths that are most relevant to the job, for example, your great communication skills and how they have been developed. Try to keep the answer relatively short but explain as many relevant skills as possible that you have, which are ideal for the retail management role. Refer back to the job description to help you with ensuring the most relevant skills are included in your answer. Many people find it uncomfortable to boast about their skills, but this question is a chance to really show the company what you are made of!

What Are Your Weaknesses?

It is perfectly okay to be truthful when asked this question. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses; if you answer that your weakness is that you are a ‘perfectionist’ then you aren’t answering the question well enough. The best way to answer a question about your weaknesses is to list something that you struggle with, but talk about what you do to help resolve the issue and how you constantly strive to improve on it. Many people struggle with keeping to deadlines, so you could state that in order to improve on staying calm and meeting deadlines you make to-do lists and prioritise your work, which allows you to be more organised and ensure work is complete before the deadline approaches. You could also state that you will ask for help if you really need it and communicate to your manager that you are struggling where necessary. This shows that you are aware of a weakness but constantly striving to improve on it, which shows responsibility and a great level of maturity.

Where Do You See Yourself in 5/10 Years?

Retailers like to ask a question about where you see yourself in the future to ensure that the role is part of your bigger career plan and you will not just be a temporary staff member. Companies like loyalty and want to know that you are reliable. The best way to answer a question about your future is to include the company in it. State that you will ideally be working as a retail manager for the brand, helping customers and aiming to reach and exceed targets. Change your answer so that it again relates back to the company, and the information you have found out about them in your research.

How Do You Motivate Employees?

If you are applying for a retail management role then there will most likely be a question about managing and motivating employees. It is crucial you show a good understanding of staff management, as your role will not only require you to have an excellent understanding of the brand’s customers, but also a good understanding of how to successfully manage staff. A great idea to answer a question like this, is to use a story to show a past experience and why it worked well in motivating staff. For example, encouraging honest and open feedback from staff, and how this had helped you to improve in the past. You could also talk about recognition and reward, and how important this is to motivating retail staff. There are a range of ways to motivate staff, so write a list of your own experiences to impress the interviewers.

There are a number of other questions that could come up in retail management interviews, but it is vital you have prepared answers for the most commonly asked questions so that you can increase your chance of standing out from other applicants. The brand will want to know why you are the best fit for them, so everything needs to relate to the company and the role. Remember to be confident in yourself, make eye contact and be positive, friendly and polite.